A little something for those who find the escalating financial crisis overshadowing the somewhat less imminent threat of climate change. Check out this new 10-minute animation on climate tipping points by Plane Stupid activist Leo Murray, entitled ‘Wake up, freak out – then get a grip’.
It may be animation, but light entertainment it isn’t. Imaginatively illustrated and extensively referenced, this short piece by Murray, who narrates the story as an animated stick figure, takes us through a worst-case scenario of future climate change – from mass species extinctions all the way to famine and war.
It’s worth seeing for the opening scene alone, where a violin-playing polar bear is confronted by an incensed (stick figure) Murray, declaring:
This really isn’t about polar bears anymore.
I particularly like his representation of positive feedback loops as cogs in a machine. The science is solid for the most part, but selective – six degrees of warming is an upper estimate after all, and in truth I don’t think that anyone knows for sure how close we are to reaching tipping points in the climate system. I’m also unconvinced that beyond 6 degrees of warming the Earth will become the domain of flies, cockroaches and rats – isn’t that more of a nuclear winter scenario?
But Murray’s animation does a great job of bringing to life the concept of catastrophic climate change, with a defiant take home message to boot:
It is now very clear that in order to actually win the fight against climate change, making big changes to the way we each live our own lives is not going to be enough; we’re also going to have to actively confront powerful vested interests who will stop at nothing to prevent the changes we need from taking place. We have to be more than just consumers.
It looks like he’ll get Al Gore’s support on that one.